2016: 100 Favorite Essays, Reviews, Photographs, Recipes & More...

© 2017 Trudy | Drift Sojourn

© 2017 Trudy | Drift Sojourn

Though 2016 was a terrible year for me in so many ways, it also was a year where I created art that I love, art that I feel proud of, and art that has sustained me. While I do not think that the relationship between pain and creation is a linear one—as I do think that joy and happiness are also catalysts for creativity—I do know that joy inspires my creative process and at the same time my creative process is what helps me sort out and work through pain. Art is my career. Art is my hobby. Art is my life. Art saves me

In 2016, my art—writing and self-publishing, photography, creating and sharing ideas on art, making art products, curating art, and lately, cooking (though the former is my professional work, and cooking has become a stress reliever, hobby and muse for my professional photography or a break from writing)—was both a source of delight and a pathway to return to delight when life was not delightful.

Last year I published 35 Of My Favorite Essays That I Wrote In 2015 as kind of a summary of writing (much from Gradient Lair, but not only from there) that I felt good about for the year. This year I decided to create a more substantial post that paints the picture of my favorites of my work that does not only include my writing but also reflects how I create, think about and curate art. Below are some of my favorite things that I created in 2016 and my end of the year posts for my respective projects as well.


thetrudz.com (@thetrudz) is my central site where I discuss my creative process and share my work. I also publish essays on art in general, as creativity, inspiration, labor, self-care and/or activism. (Though I do not identify as an "activist," I do identify as a Womanist and some of my essays delve into where labor and activism meet as a hypervisible Black woman using social media, when some of my creative content is political/sociopolitical in nature.) It is a place where my different types of creative work all come together. Below are my favorites of my essays and other content that I published in 2016: 


  1. One Day I Want To Dazzle 
  2. To Get Through This Thing Called Life (RIP Prince)
  3. My Top 15 Favorite Albums Of 2016 
  4. Social Media: "Fans," Supporters, Hypervisibility and Survival
  5. Abusing/Exploiting Independent Creators Is Not "Fighting Capitalism"
  6. The Painful Side of "Role Models," ''Mentors" and "Goals"
  7. I Rarely Trust People That Say That I "Inspire" Them
  8. People Who Minimize Hobbyists and Exploit Professional Artists
  9. I Am Tired Of Being Expected To Work For Free
  10. Why People On Twitter Avoid Your Essays, Mixtapes and Other Art

Storify posts, tweet collections, and threads:

  1. Lemonade: A Southern Visual 'Novel' Unapologetically About The Humanity & Complexity of Black Womanhood (Storify)
  2. Piers Morgan Can't Sit With Us Or Sip This Lemonade (Storify)
  3. Media Consumption Itself ≠ Automatic Unity, Identity, Feminism, Activism (Storify)
  4. Black People Can Choose What Art To Consume (Twitter Moments)
  5. #HireBlackWriters (tweet thread and essay)
  6. Black History Month - art (tweet thread)
  7. Black History Month - reading list (tweet thread)
  8. 1 like = 1 book (tweet thread)
  9. 1 like = 1 album (tweet thread)
  10. the plague of unsolicited art/biz advice from inexperienced people who do not engage my work (tweet thread)
  11. "authentic artists," and 'zero/sum' anti-collaborative notions of creativity (tweet thread)
  12. impact of misogynoir, hypervisibility and the exploitation of fictive kinship on intraracial marketing (tweet thread)
  13. I do not need every TV show and character to be "feminist" (tweet thread)
  14. anti-Blackness and the perception of the "lack of depth" in Black art (tweet thread)
  15. anti-Blackness, exploitation of fictive kinship and "profitability" (tweet thread)


End of the year post: 

Clearly my favorite creations and ideas center on art, not necessarily my "viral" traditionally political opinions on Twitter, or the stuff that got me 23.8 million impressions, 71.4K retweets and 160.6K likes in a single month (November), for example. That type of "viral" content is not my favorite. Artists make art; art-related content is what is my favorite. Even if my art goes mostly unseen—often deliberately so by people who cannot reconcile what I actually do, what I actually love, and who I actually am, with their need for constant "race/gender facts" and politics to consume—it is stuff that I am happy to create and share with my small authentic audience; the masses who gorge via hypervisibility are of no consequence to my art, ultimately.

Gradient Lair (@Gradient Lair) is a personal blog and womanist space that I created, developed, curated and published on from 2012-2015. Gradient Lair is about Black women and art, media, social media, sociopolitics and culture. Since I closed the space in 2015, I did not publish any additional essays there in 2016; instead, I off and on worked on the my subject-specific anthologies, as I mentioned in my "Artists Make Art" series. I will continue to work on the anthologies this year though for now, there is no specific publication date. I am embracing reasonable and flexible deadlines, as an objective in 2017, which I mentioned in my above-referenced end of the year post.

Drift Sojourn (@driftsojourn) is photographs with passion and prose with purpose. My photography primarily consists of food, travel, lifestyle and macro photography. (For several years prior to 2013, I did professional consumer photography [events, portraits weddings etc.], but made major name/genre/theme changes after 2012.) I also write essays on the photography industry, social media and visual media politics including perspectives on race, gender, class and more, as a Black woman and photographer

I did not write any essays on the industry on Drift Sojourn in 2016 though. Instead, I focused on my professional photography itself, specifically on food as a subject, and I focused on my cooking and baking experiments as a newbie cook. Thus, instead of sharing my favorite essays now as I did in 2015, below I share my favorite recipes (some I created; others, I cited the source/cook) that I published in 2016 and my favorite photography posts and projects in 2016:

Recipes (on Drift Sojourn blog):

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies, Small Batch (Revisited)
  2. Critical Oxtail Theory
  3. Lemon Tea Cookies
  4. Bourbon Hot Chocolate
  5. Homemade Pecan Sandies
  6. Homemade Soft Tacos With Spinach
  7. Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
  8. Homemade Blueberry Waffles
  9. Sweet Potato Waffles
  10. Brown Butter Pecan Waffles
  11. Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheeseburger
  12. My First Attempt At Homemade Biscuits
  13. Blueberry Muffins
  14. Breakfast Is Served!
  15. 3 Meals With 3 New Kitchen Tools

Favorites (on Drift Sojourn Instagram):

  1. my take on Red Lobster's biscuits
  2. oven roasted chicken wings
  3. shrimp and tomatoes in calamari pasta
  4. lacinato kale flatbread
  5. onion rings from scratch
  6. blueberry ice cream from scratch
  7. homemade hot wings and plantain
  8. vegetable fritters
  9. strawberries with homemade whipped cream
  10. fried plantain

Favorite posts (specifically for the photography):

  1. Steamed Kale and Ginger & Saffron Tea
  2. Some College Days Eating Habits Die Hard
  3. Four Of My Favorite Things To Eat
  4. Macro and Mood
  5. Fresh Fruit and Veg Blends That Last Longer


  1. Free "Delicious" iPhone Wallpapers (download them here in Publications)
  2. 300 Photography Resources (download a copy here in Publications)
  3. Snacks on Snapchat - 2016 Greatest Hits (Snapchat user name is: thetrudz)
  4. Colour Stories
  5. food GIFs
  6. the Beyoncé palette
  7. the Covenant palette
  8. iPhone macro - makeup photographs
  9. a day at the beach
  10. favorite selfies from 2016

End of the year post:

Cinemacked (@Cinemacked) is a film and television interest space that I created in 2015; I celebrated my first anniversary last August. I engage the entertainment, aesthetics and sociopolitics of good film and television. I post film reviews/TV reviewscurate lists of film/TV suggestions, engage in live tweets of film/television shows and tweet/retweet about interesting visual media/entertainment industry news. Below are my favorite reviews, essays and other media criticism that I published in 2016:


  1. Film Review - Fences
  2. Film Review - Tangerine
  3. Film Review - Spotlight
  4. Film Review - 13TH
  5. Film Review - A Ballerina’s Tale
  6. Film Review - Barbershop: The Next Cut
  7. Film Review (live tweet) - The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution
  8. Film Review (live tweet) - Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
  9. #OscarsSoWhite vs. “Make Your Own”
  10. A Master Class On Film With Director Julie Dash


  1. House of Cards - The Performance vs. The Reality of Love (episode 4.01)
  2. House of Cards - The Race…and Race (episodes 4.02-4.03)
  3. House of Cards - Frank, Edward, and Lucas (episodes 4.04-4.05)
  4. House of Cards - ‘Cause We Understood (episodes 4.06-4.07)
  5. House of Cards - Interior Lives, Part I (episodes 4.08-4.10)
  6. House of Cards - Interior Lives, Part II (episodes 4.08-4.10)
  7. House of Cards - Now Who Else Wanna Fuck With The Underwoods? (episodes 4.11-4.13)
  8. Chance On Hulu Is Darkness…In Broad Daylight (episodes 1.01-1.02)
  9. TV show (full season live tweet) - Queen Sugar
  10. TV show (full season live tweet) - How To Get Away With Murder
  11. TV show (full season live tweet) - The Night Manager

Film/television chats:

  1. ranking Christopher Nolan's films 
  2. film idea vs. film reality
  3. female scientist characters on television (with @BitchFlicks)
  4. Black women and television (with @BitchFlicks)

End of the year posts: 


For 2017, I have things of interest that I want to write/create; I am happy about them. However, I am less concerned with "goals" that have unreasonable deadlines that cause me anxiety and more interested in writing interesting essays, creating beautiful photographs, curating interesting media, writing compelling film/TV reviews and criticism, making interesting social commentary, and doing it all primarily for the audience of one: me. I am more interested in the creative process itself than just producing solely to produce. I find that focusing on the art itself is when I make what feels like my best work. People tend to want to engage other people's best work. This does not mean that I do not like readers; I do; I appreciate the interest and the support from my small authentic audience amidst the masses of noise and superficial consumption. I love engaging with a few people who appreciate my work and their kindness fuels me for the next thing. This makes me truly happy. 2016 is behind me, the bad and the good, and I am ready to proceed and succeed in 2017.

(If interested in supporting any of my creative work or if you just like my writing and/or tweets, click Donate or cash.me directly. Thank you.)